Woman Argues It's A ‘Trap’ To Work So Hard To Just Afford Living Alone — ‘I’d Rather Be 40 With Roommates Than Working 40 Hours’

Are you living alone because you enjoy it? Or because work drains you to the point of needing it?

Woman living alone relaxing in her house. Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

For most people, the desire to live with roommates is a concept left behind after college. Instead, the dream becomes living in a space of your own. Unfortunately, especially for young adults just starting their careers, it's just not feasible.

However, to make that dream a reality, many workers take on extra jobs or work long hours to earn the extra money they need.

So, why are people so adamant about living alone despite its unaffordability? Corporate employee and creator Jordan Stacey on TikTok argued it’s an unfulfilling cycle — “The real trap of capitalism is that you’re working so hard that you want to live alone.”


A woman argued there’s a toxic relationship between wanting to live alone and working long hours — ‘To afford the lifestyle you work more hours.’

“The thought of living with your family or a bunch of other people is so exhausting to even entertain,” Stacey said. “You need your peace, you need your quiet, you need your isolation so that you can have your morning routine, night routine, or an empty kitchen.” Essentially, so many of us use up so much of our energy and social battery at work that it’s impossible to consider having to do it all over again at home.

@jordanstacey1 rather be 40 with roommates than working 40 hours ✋#latestagecapitalism #capitalism #fyp ♬ original sound - Jordan Stacey

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Whether you’ve had roommate horror stories or not, sharing a space with other people takes a level of action and accountability that most overworked adults simply don’t have any extra energy left to give. Of course, there’s a sticky addition to this conversation — most corporate employees can’t afford to live alone.

“So, to afford this lifestyle, you work more and more and more,” she added. “The more you work, the more isolation you crave, and therefore the more expensive your requirements become.” 

She said working strenuous hours makes living alone more attractive, as she doesn’t have the energy to interact with roommates.

“If you worked half the hours,” Stacey suggested, “you might have double the energy to live with other people and pay half the rent. You might find you no longer need such a rigorous morning and night routine; you no longer need so much peace, so much quiet, so much isolation… you might not even need so much money.”

Would working fewer hours or transitioning to a less rigorous role actually provide the peace so many young people and new workers are searching for? Would it be a healthy trade-off to work less and split the rent with a couple of roommates? 


Roommates unpacking together after living alone. Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock.com

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Research suggests there are incredible benefits to sharing your space.

“Community just seems so much better to survive capitalism,” one commenter suggested on Stacey's video. “I love my 4 roommates and my 20-hour work week.”


According to a 2021 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, living in a healthy community or with roommates could help to improve your mental health — bolstering social interaction, reducing mental distress, and acting as a space to fulfill the collective yearning for connection. 

However, despite Stacey's opinion on “the why” behind living alone, some commenters argued they simply prefer the lifestyle, regardless of their financial status.

While some commenters agreed, acknowledging the benefits of community, others insisted their personalities were better suited to living alone.

“As a neurodivergent person, I personally can’t live with roommates. I need my space… I need to ‘decompress’ from being a person, not just from my job,” one commenter wrote, suggesting that they prefer to seek out connection, companionship, and community outside of their home on their own schedule.

While community and roommates have the potential to be rejuvenating, especially if they provide the luxury of more money and free time, some people simply prefer to be alone


Stacey explained that her theory is a “simple way” to view the topic and ultimately a “projection” of her own preferences, but she questioned her audience: “Would you rather be 40 with roommates or working more than 40 hours a week?”

While it’s a complicated discussion involving everything from the economy to personality types, it’s something to consider. If we weren’t such a work-centric culture, where identity is inherently intertwined with your job, would you consider taking a step back to live a more communal lifestyle?

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.